Cholula chicken: Inspired by the chicken at Trudy's Tex Mex Restaurant in Austin, Texas. Click through for copycat recipe!

In September, I traveled to Austin, Texas, to check out their food scene. 

Yes, folks, I went on a food trip. 

Over the past few years, I’ve heard over and over how the restaurant and food scene in Austin is bonkers good. 

So naturally – as a food blogger, food lover, and kitchen experimenter – I had to go check it out. 

Austin locals, I am a wee bit jealous of the vast selection and quality of restaurants you get to enjoy.

I loved the breakfast tacos – all the tacos. The guacamole. The ice cream sandwich with two different cookies. The sweet potato tamales. The BBQ (when I drove out to Lockhart). The stuffed avocados.

But my favorite?

The Cholula honey chicken.

Cholula chicken: A spicy fried chicken with pickled red onions,inspired by Trudy's in Austin, TX.

Cholula Hot Chicken: About The Recipe

One Austin restaurant that came highly recommended was Trudy’s. And a specific dish at Trudy’s Tex Mex that was most recommended was the Cholula honey chicken.

It was reminiscent of Tennessee hot chicken:

A crispy fried chicken breast, dipped in a Cholula Hot Sauce-based sauce. The chicken is topped with pickled red onion. It’s the perfect hot-tangy-crispy flavor combination.

It was served with grilled Mexican-style sweet corn and cheesy mashed potatoes.

My version – Cholula hot chicken – tastes a lot like the kind I had at Trudy’s.

It’s a bit time-consuming, but it’s totally worth it – I promise. Here’s the process in a nutshell:

  • Chicken breasts are marinated in a buttermilk mixture
  • Then they’re breaded and deep fried
  • After that, they’re doused in a Cholula-based hot sauce
  • It’s served with pickled red onions on top, and mashed potatoes and sweet corn on the side

Cholula chicken: A spicy fried chicken recipe made with Cholula hot sauce. Click through for recipe!

Time-saving tip: Make the pickled red onions the day before.

Like fried chicken? Try these buttermilk-fried chicken and waffle bites.

Be sure to check back in the coming months for more Austin-inspired recipes!

Cholula hot chicken: A spicy fried chicken recipe made with Cholula hot sauce. Click through for recipe!

Cholula Chicken With Pickled Red Onions

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 7 minutes

The recipe below doesn't include instructions for the mashed potatoes and sweet corn - don't forget!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Cholula hot sauce

For Frying Chicken

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Canola or vegetable oil, for frying 

For Cholula Hot Sauce

  • 1/3 cup Cholula Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 cup hot cooking oil

For Pickled Red Onions

  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 cup white or white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons pickling spices (optional)

Instructions

    1. Marinate chicken: Cut each chicken breast in half the long way. Combine chicken pieces with buttermilk and spices, and place in a large glass bowl or zip-lock bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.
    2. Fry chicken: Remove chicken pieces from buttermilk marinade, allowing excess liquid to drain off. In one bowl, beat egg and buttermilk; add half the spices. In another bowl, combine flour with the remaining spices. Heat oil over high heat until it reaches 350F. You'll know that the chicken is ready to fry when it sizzles when dipped in the oil.
    3. Take one piece of chicken, dip it in the egg mixture, and then dip it in the flour mixture. Place chicken into the hot oil and fry for about 2 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Repeat until all the chicken is fried. Place fried chicken on a paper towel-lined baking sheet.
    4. Place Cholula hot sauce and hot cooking oil in a bowl and mix until combined. Dip the hot chicken pieces into the hot sauce, let excess drip off, and serve hot, topped with pickled red onions.
    5. To make pickled red onions: Removed ends from onion. Cut in half and place cut sides down on a cutting board. Slice onions into thin half moons. Place in a glass jar and add pickling spices, if using.
    6. Place vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour hot vinegar over the red onions. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before eating.